Louie Giglio says believers have a real enemy that shows up in our circumstances and is determined to destroy us. Being the deceiver he is, the enemy will show up in ways we least expect and tell us lies. Giglio uses a powerful illustration to show believers that we don’t have to entertain the enemy. We don’t even have to tolerate him.
“Some of you need to take that authority by the spirit of Christ and the Holy Spirit and you need to tell the enemy ‘You don’t get a seat at my table,’” Giglio said to a crowded auditorium.
Giglio preached the sermon titled “Don’t Give a Seat” at James River Church in Ozark, Missouri, in April. The basis for his message came from Psalm 23. Giglio focused on this verse in particular:
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
When the Scripture speaks of “enemies,” Giglio explains this can mean “circumstances closing in; a diagnosis that you didn’t see coming; it could actually be a person that has stabbed you in the back…who’s undermining you at your office; it can be an internal struggle or an external addiction.”
This Is Really About Spiritual Warfare
Giglio then stepped off the stage to deliver a sermon illustration. The camera follows him as he sits down at a table set up toward the front of the auditorium. The table is small and has two chairs, but placed on it is a lavish spread of fruit, vegetables and pastries. Giglio explains this is the table that the Lord sets before us, and, referencing earlier verses in Psalm 23 and John 10:10-11 (where Jesus describes himself as the Good Shepherd), Giglio says not only does God set this table for us, Jesus himself sits down at the table with us.
If he had written the passage himself, Giglio says, he would have made it so that the table is secluded and set apart and only he and the Shepherd get to sit at it. But that’s not what Psalm 23:5 says. It says, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” Meaning, we sit at the table with the Good Shepherd, but the enemy is prowling around the table. He wants to sit down with you, too, Giglio says.
If we’re not careful, Giglio says, the devil will take a seat at your table without your permission. Giglio illustrated this by pretending to be the enemy, bringing his own chair and interrupting a person’s meal with Jesus.
Once the enemy gets a seat at this table, Giglio explains, he will start to speak to you. If you hear any of the following four phrases (or variations of them) in your internal dialogue, you could very well have given the enemy a seat at the table, Giglio warns.
If You Hear These Phrases in Your Head, You’ve Given the Enemy a Seat at Your Table:
“You’re never going to make it.” Since the enemy is constantly trying to get us to trip up and stop following Jesus, he will try to convince us there’s no point in continuing. But, Giglio says, while the devil is telling you you’re not going to make it through the valley, the Shepherd is telling you he is with you in the valley.
“There’s something better at the other table.” This will invite you to compare another person’s God-given table to your own. Then you might be tempted to get up from the table (leaving the security and fellowship of the Good Shepherd) to try to get what’s at the other table.
“You’re not good enough.” If you really weren’t good enough, Giglio says, the Good Shepherd would have never left his throne in heaven to sit with you at your table. Just think about that for a minute.